17.02.2017 9 °C
Today we started early, very early, 6:30 am pick-up to head back towards Santiago and catch our 10:30 am flight to Punta Arenas. Doesn't sound that bad but given last night we stumbled across the best little pizza place and returned to our cute little hotel on Happy Hill (that was the name of the neighbourhood we stayed in) to finish "just one more glass of wine" it seemed very, very early. The hotel we stayed at was a darling boutique establishment that once had been a house, now a lodge with only a handful of rooms it had tons of character but very creaky, noisy floors. Add to the sounds of an old house the sounds of stray dogs (who sleep all day and talk to each other all night) and the result is a pretty restless evening with very little actual sleep.
Fortunately I am one of those people that can sleep on planes, so after a couple hours of shut eye during our 3+ hour flight I felt quasi human again. Punta Arenas (Sandy Point in English) is near the tip of Chile's southernmost Patagonia region. Located on the Strait of Magellan, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, it is used as a base for those exploring Patagonia or Antartica. Historically it was an important stop for explorers and has a memorial to explorer Ferdinand Magellan, and the Museo Nao Victoria features a replica of one of his galleons. Today tourists and trekking enthusiasts have replaced sailors.
We arrived at 2 pm and headed straight to our hotel the Jose Nigeria, which once was a mansion occupied by Joe Nigeria and Sara Braun. Both individuals were prominent figures in Punta Arenas's history. The town is far more developed (common theme for Chile, it feels very much like North America) and while quaint the town doesn't have the small tourist feel I thought it would (it is not a Banff or Jasper).
We immediately dropped our bags and headed to the bar downstairs in our hotel, named for Ernest Shackleton. It was here in Punta Arenas he planned two bids to retrieve his trapped men. We have the pleasure of traveling with a bit of a history buff with respect to Shackleton so it was a must do to have lunch and a drink in the Shackleton Bar.
After a snack we headed out and wandered around the small town to the famous cementery,, ranked by CNN as one of the most beautiful in the world (odd and useless fact) before heading back to the hotel to put our feet before finding dinner. It should be noted it is a drying out day, it is almost 7 pm and we are yet to have a glass of wine! The weather here is noticeably cooler than where we have been around 9 degrees and I am pleased with my packing of a toque, rain coat and hoodie.
Hoping for some sleep tonight tomorrow we have the morning at leisure (where I am hoping to get a run along the Strait of Magellan in) and then board our boat at 3 pm for our week off the grid sailing around some of the southern most parts of the world. My goal is to blog as I normally do (which may be challenging without being able to google questions that arise) and load them when I return to the land of wifi.
So until next time (and I have no idea when that will be),